Thursday, February 27, 2014
In 2011, Forbes Magazine listed Dallas prominently on its list of the "Next Biggest Boom Towns in the U.S." Forbes' prediction turned out to be very much on the money. Following a year of record growth in the Dallas-Fort Worth housing market, the area looks to enjoy another year of robust expansion in 2014. An increase in population and continued growth in the financial, industrial and service sectors will be a further boost for home sellers in the tight housing market. Among the region’s economic drivers are 18 Fortune 500 companies, including such giants as the second-place Exxon Mobil Corp., AMR Corp. (the parent company of Southwest Airlines and American Airlines), Texas Instruments and Dean Foods.
Dallas-Fort Worth's booming economy has prompted a marked increase in net migration to the metro area, with an expected 78,000 new inhabitants arriving each year by 2015. The population expansion includes a record growth in relocation of Millennials (20-to-34-year-olds), with a projected increase of 8.7 percent in their population segment over the next five years.
This large influx of new residents has cut housing availability to record lows; the inventory of homes being marketed by real estate agents was at less than a two-month supply in 2013, according to The Dallas Morning News. High demand and low availability drove Dallas-area home sales up almost 20 percent and sale prices up more than 10 percent in 2013 from the previous year. With a median sale price of $205,000, FSBO (for sale by owner) sellers listing their homes without the services of a real estate agent will further benefit, saving the agent’s 6 percent commission, an average of $12,300 in the Dallas-Fort Worth market.
Dallas neighborhoods with the greatest increase in sale prices include Oak Lawn, Oak Cliff, Mesquite, Irving and North Dallas. The area's largest homes are in the North Dallas area, in such neighborhoods as Preston Hollow, Highland Park and University Park, and in the suburbs of Irving, Plano and Southlake.
The most important features driving a purchase for Dallas-Fort Worth home buyers are in the areas of home amenities and floor plans, according to a 2014 survey by ForSaleByOwner.com. Central air conditioning tops the buyers' list of must-have features, followed by a garage or carport, being in “move-in” condition and having a new or renovated kitchen. The most common deal breakers for buyers are a lack of those amenities, as well as no outdoor space and a floor plan that is not single-story.
Home buyers seeking these modern amenities are helped by the city’s relatively new residential offerings, with half of the area’s housing units built since 1970. One notable exception to the prevalence of new construction is the Swiss Avenue Historic District, a collection of mansions just east of downtown. Designated a historic district in 1973, many homes have been restored, and the area remains one of the richest examples of early residential design, with styles including Mediterranean, Spanish Revival, Georgian, Mission, Prairie, Craftsman, Neoclassical, Italian Renaissance, Tudor and Colonial Revival.
Up next: Miami, where the real estate market has been revitalized by investments by South American buyers, younger residents and retirees.
See what other cities made our Top Real Estate Markets list.